Sweden’s Greatest Cultural Achievements

No one knows you better than Google…

Somehow I came across this conversation in the computer lab one night…what does “Swedish” mean to you.

No need to lie, when I think “Swedish”… meatballs pile up to the top of my list.

Now, what on earth is “Swedish massage”… upon “googling”, a Swedish massage is a massage that makes you feel good. Is there a massage that is suppose to make you feel worse??


What are other “Swedish” things on my list?

1/ Volvo

Every model from the late 70’s to the brand new XC90 test vehicles, you will be amazed by the sheer number of Volvo dominating the streets of Göteborg.


Illustration by Ib Autoni.

2/ Smelly fish

Have you played a prank on someone who has never tried sushi by telling them Wasabi is “green tea ice cream”?

Ja, you have to try surströmming!

Screenshot 2015-04-16 14.15.09

3/ The ladies

SHOCKING FACT… apparently, many/most of the blonde girls in Sweden aren’t blonde. Chemicals…  but would you really care?

Swedes - Expedia

While watching the 2015 World Junior Championship (hockey) in Canada over Christmas break, according to the Expedia commercial, this is what Swedish stereotype looks like to Canadians.

4/ Snus

The locals love this stuff… while socializing, during a lab session, or in class. Everyone uses snus, which is essentially chewing tobacco. There are two versions of it: the amateur version, which is a small tea bag filled with tobacco, and then there is the expert version, which is lose tobacco and you will have to pack it into a small ball.


Have you seen an Indian person neatly eats with his hands? Being able to pack snus requires a lot of finger coordination/motor skills.


3/ Blue/purple plastic bags of happiness

Every Friday afternoon you will notice people making happy strides with a purple or green plastic bag in their hands.

In Sweden, beverages higher than 3.5% alcohol content are only sold in the State Monopoly Liquor stores called Systembolaget. If you want “normal” booze for the weekend, you have to dash there before it closes super early Friday night, and it remains mostly closed the entire weekend.

This is the way the Swedish government discourages drinking.


This is what Systembolaget looks like… super “noticeable”.


Liquor is really pricy in Sweden. High alcohol percentage beer (4.5%) is also more expensive than 3% ones.

I can afford the 3% light beer. It tastes the same as the 4.5% ones, more or less.

Wine is well priced in Sweden. Very comparable to Canada and the Netherlands…as far as I know.





Written by Gimmy

24 May 2015